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Criminal Jury Instructions

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10.2-15  Unlawful Completion of a Credit Card -- § 53a-128f

Revised to December 1, 2007

The defendant is charged [in count __] with the unlawful completion of a credit card.  The statute defining this offense imposes punishment on

any person, other than the cardholder, having under (his/her) possession, custody or control two or more incomplete credit cards, or possessing a purported distinctive element of a credit card, with intent to complete such incomplete credit cards without the consent of the issuer.

For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

Element 1 - Possession of incomplete cards
The first element is that the defendant, who is not the cardholder, possessed two or more incomplete credit cards, or a purported distinctive element of a credit card.

"Credit card" means any instrument or device, whether known as a credit card, as a credit plate, or by any other name, issued with or without fee by an issuer for the use of a cardholder in obtaining money, goods, services or anything else of value on credit.  "Cardholder" means the person named on the face of a credit card to whom or for whose benefit the credit card is issued by an issuer.

A credit card is "incomplete" if part of the matter other than the signature of the cardholder, which an issuer, or any issuer in a group of issuers utilizing a common distinctive element or elements in credit cards issued by all members of such group, requires to appear on the credit card, before it can be used by a cardholder, has not yet been stamped, embossed, imprinted or written on it.1

A "distinctive element" of a credit card is any material or component used in the fabrication of credit cards, which, by virtue of such element's chemical or physical composition, color or design, is unique to the credit cards issued by a particular issuer or group of issuers utilizing a common distinctive element or elements in credit cards issued by all members of such group.2

Element 2 - Intent to complete
The second element is that the defendant intended to complete such incomplete credit cards.  A person acts "intentionally" with respect to a result when (his/her) conscious objective is to cause such result.  <See Intent: Specific, Instruction 2.3-1.>

Element 3 - Without consent of issuer
The third element is that the defendant did not have the consent of the issuer.   "Issuer" means the person or entity issuing a credit card, or a duly authorized agent.  A person does an act "without consent of another person" when (he/she) lacks such other person's agreement or assent to engage in the act. 

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant possessed two or more incomplete credit cards, or a purported distinctive element of a credit card, 2) (he/she) had the intent to complete the cards, and 3) (he/she) did not have the consent of an issuer.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of unlawful completion of a credit card, then you shall find the defendant guilty.  On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.
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1 Defined in General Statutes § 53a-128f.

2 Id.
 


 

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